Sponsored by ZOR SHRINERS

Shrine Circus at VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM at the Alliant Energy Center - coliseum website

Located at 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison, WI 53713 - map

Just off Madison's west beltline hwy at John Nolen Dr or Rimrock Rd.

Alliant Energy Center (formerly Dane County Coliseum) is a multi-building complex located in Madison, Wisconsin. It comprises 164 acres of greenspace and includes the 255,000-square-foot Exhibition Hall, the 10,000-seat Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the 29-acre Willow Island and the 22,000-square-foot Arena. The exhibition pavilions, which total 290,000 square feet, will be replacing the nine current agricultural barns. The Center welcomes more than one million people attending more than 500 events annually, ranging from local meetings and banquets to large sporting events and major concerts.

Veterans Memorial Coliseum (formerly known as Dane County Coliseum), built in 1967, is a 10,231-seat (7,432 seats for Circus) multi-purpose arena that is the centerpiece of the Alliant Energy Center campus. It is a site for concerts, family shows, sporting events, consumer shows, conventions and assemblies. The building was completely renovated in 2004-2005.

In 1895 the Agricultural Society and Dane County purchased 250 acres of land at the current site to provide an area that could be used for the Dane County Fair. This area was known as "Lakeside Park Farm", but some thought it merely represented a worthless swampland. Because of financial difficulties, the Dane County Fair was halted on the site in 1938 and did not return until 1951. During this time, even though the Dane County Fair was held in an alternate location, the County board did not abandon the site and Dane County managed to pay off the mortgage for the property in 1941.

As a major turning point towards the advent of a full-service venue, roads, parking lots, sewer and water, a heating plant and kitchen/bathroom facilities were built on the grounds in 1949-51. In 1951, the Dane County Fair moved back to the present Alliant Energy Center (formerly the Expo Center) and remains there today.

Over the ensuing years, the first buildings were erected on the site. In 1954, the Arena was built; it remains the only building still standing from this era. The Youth Building was constructed in 1962 and housed the offices for 4-H in Dane County. This area now serves as the administration building for the Alliant Energy Center. In 1967, Veterans Memorial Coliseum was built.  One of its earliest clientele includes the Zor Shrine Circus.

In 1974, the first Exposition Center Commission was appointed. This Committee headed construction and development for the present Alliant Energy Center (formerly Expo Center). With the Coliseum schedule reaching 160 event days in 1977, it was clear that the demand for trade and consumer shows and conventions was competing with concerts, sporting events and family shows. Over time, the market area had expanded well beyond Wisconsin and the committee recognized the need for expansion. In 1978, an addition to the Youth Building was built (now the Administration Building) and the new facility was named the Forum. At the time, this facility offered the area's largest facilities for trade shows, banquets and other public functions. The forum was replaced with the construction of Exhibition Hall in 1995

Veterans Memorial Coliseum celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1992. At this point, over 16 million people had entered the Coliseum doors to attend a vast array of events.


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Veterans Memorial COLISEUM at Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI.